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“GOTTA BELIEVE”: Princeton Lawyer Takes Leap of Faith to Focus On Art Career

Princeton, NJ – July 25, 2016 - Princeton lawyer and artist Rhinold Ponder marks his transition from full-time attorney  to full-time artist in a special one day art show entitled Gotta Believe.  The exhibit will be held August 6, 2016 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the Arts Council Pop-Up Studio in the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 N. Harrison Street, Princeton.  A reception begins at 4 p.m. For nearly 30 [caption id="attachment_374" align="alignleft" width="900"]Gotta Believe Gotta Believe[/caption] years, Ponder served as an attorney.  While practicing law, according to Ponder, he “felt the pull of art and the need to live his life more creatively.”   Ponder’s artistic journey began as a child in Chicago. He was a national award winning art student in Chicago before turning his full attention to obtaining advanced degrees in law, journalism and African American Studies. He  graduated from Princeton, Boston and New York Universities.

Ponder Inspired To Believe

Moved by the recent events around social justice and violence, Ponder felt it now was the time to act. He said, “The call from my artistic passion had become so loud and persistent.  I could no longer ignore that inner voice encouraging me to get back to writing and painting.  The voice kept saying “to change the world, change yourself first.”   I am surrendering to, no, I am believing that inner voice.  It is telling me to create, share and prosper. I Gotta believe.” Most noteworthy, Ponder has been successfully painting and exhibiting his work throughout New Jersey since 2002.  Then, he ended a 25-year hiatus from painting and cartooning.   His works draw on a number of themes and a range of styles. Most of his paintings focus on humanity’s faith and will to overcome adversity.   Ponder’s work focuses in expressions of hope and faith as unifying elements in a diverse society.    His most recent exhibit, “The Rise and Fail of the N-Word,” which focused on the language of racism, made its debut at Princeton University in 2014.  The project will be expanded for national exhibition. 

Ponder's Writing Future

Ponder also plans to merge his love for literature and writing with the visual arts.  He writes include political commentary and poetry.  He moderates a popular virtual discussion on race.   “Beyond Black and White Discussion Group” on Facebook is rapidly growing with over 1000 members.   Also, Ponder studied under the tutelage of such greats as poet laureate Stanley Kunitz, Haki Madhubuti, John “Red” Hearne (in Jamaica), Gwendolyn Brooks and author Angela Jackson. He  expects to complete his first poetry manuscript ”Inheritance of the Disaffected” in December 2016. Most of Ponder’s work which will be for sale. He plans to make room in his home studio for “all the great new work ready to be born,” he said.  "Gotta Believe" features hourly raffles of art work and books by local writers.  
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